Ripple, Barclays Accelerator Back $1.7 Million Round for Remittance Firm
Ripple, Barclays’s tech accelerator and other financiers have backed a $1.7 million round for SendFriend, a new remittance startup that will utilize the XRP cryptocurrency to move funds worldwide.
Announcing the news on Monday, the New York-based company said the Mastercard Foundation, MIT Media Lab, Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures and 8 Decimal Capital likewise took part in the round. Barclays got a stake through its “Barclays, powered by TechStars” accelerator program, into which SendFriend was accepted last September.
The cash raised will be used for employing staff, along with focusing on community engagement and marketing, said SendFriend’s co-founder and president David Lighton.
SendFriend, which said it was established at MIT, intends to serve overseas workers from the Philippines, using XRP and Ripple’s xRapid product for cross-border settlements.
The company discussed how it will work, saying:
” XRP is used as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, allowing SendFriend to circumvent the matching banking system and convert USD to XRP to PHP [Philippine peso] immediately.”
Not yet live, SendFriend stated it prepares to release in New Jersey soon, however will also be available in other U.S. states through desktop and mobile apps.
Ripple confirmed that SendFriend will utilize the XRP token in a release last week. Lighton stated at the time: “The existing correspondent banking system is sluggish, inefficient and costly.”
In its funding statement, SendFriend claimed that it will use 65 percent lower charges compared to the industry average for international cash transfers, as blockchain “replaces the frictions and charges of the banking system.”
Recently, the Philippines’ House of Representatives supposedly approved a costs that looks for to give overseas Filipino employees a 10 – 50 percent remittance fee discount rate depending upon the amount being remitted.
The Philippines is one of the largest Asian markets for remittances. In 2015, the country’s diaspora sent back home $34 billion, according to a World Bank report from December.
Correction (Feb. 12): Due to a mistake in the source press release, this post formerly did not make clear that Barclays involvement with SendFriend was by means of its accelerator program Barclays, powered by TechStars. The short article has actually been upgraded to show the new information.